Q&A

Michelle Obama talks childhood, Stevie Wonder and why she won’t run for president

(Doug Mills/The New York Times)

First lady Michelle Obama took part in a much-anticipated Q&A session at the SXSW festival in Austin on Wednesday, taking on such diverse topics as her childhood in South Side Chicago, her love for Stevie Wonder and why she would not consider a presidential run. The first lady was at the Texas festival to promote her education initiative “Let Girls Learn,” and took part in the panel along with luminaries that included Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, Sophia Bush and Diane Warren. She recalled her childhood in Chicago as a pivotal moment in how she thinks about education: “Growing up as a black girl on the South Side of Chicago, where the expectations of me were limited. As I was trying to make my way and do good in school and apply to good colleges, there were always people around telling me what I couldn’t do,” she said. “My reaction to that at the time was to prove the doubters wrong. But not every young person reacts to it that way and there are many people whose dreams get snuffed out.”

She also explained that, once she leaves the White House, she would love to keep working with young people and continue her advocacy work — but quickly shut down Queen Latifah when she asked why she wouldn’t run for president — drawing cheers from the crowd.

“No, no not going to do it. One of the reasons why is that I’ve got these two young people at home,” referencing her daughters Sasha and Malia. “Being the kids, the daughters of a president, just think about it. Come on young people, not so easy. They’ve handled it with grace and with poise, but there are so many ways to impact the world and you don’t have to be president of the United States to do them.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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